My New Project


I’ve been wanting to take on this project ever since I was elected Chair-Elect for the youth services section of the Nebraska Library Association (NLA). After getting the position, I wanted to learn more about this group so naturally I checked out their online presence, and was very disappointed. It looked like there had been an effort to get a basic blog going, but with it being a volunteer sort of thing, it had been left untouched for over a year.

I began thinking of what I’d hope to find when checking out that blog, and I basically came to the conclusion that I’d want to find a place where Nebraska YS librarians share and help each other. I tried to find another YS blog that was “collective,” or crowdsourced, but failed (if anyone is aware of one, then please let me know!).**

**The lovely Marge Loch-Wouters of Tiny Tips for Library Fun fame pointed out the Youth Services Shout-Out blog. I had looked at it before, and didn’t realize that it was very much crowdsourced with rotating admins (see comment section below).

Unfortunately, my health had to be my priority in life for quite some time. It wasn’t until our Children’s Library had a visit from the University of Omaha’s Special Libraries class that I suddenly had a spark of renewed desire to make the blog a special place for Nebraska librarians (and anyone else who’s looking for awesome ideas, printables, and more). I mean, there’s this magic that happens when you gather a group of librarians together and they share with one another.

I jumped right in and overhauled the site, even designing a new logo (which you see at the top of this post). I even created a twitter account (@SCYP_NLA) to try and really help NE librarians build PLNs with both each other and the rest of the world.

I’ve written two posts so far, and am trying to patiently go through that desert time with any new blog. It took Hafuboti almost three years to start being viewed by more that a few dozen people per month. I’m also on hold for an email blast to SCYP members (the person who does that is on jury duty – d’oh!).

So, I’m now dividing my time between two blogs. I’m super-excited and hope that my vision becomes reality. I’d truly appreciate it if you popped on over and took a look. I’d appreciate it even more if you’d give me feedback: what you like/don’t like, and any ideas you might have for where that blog could go. I’m hoping to get some storytime posts, passive programs, and other event posts (like Free Comic Book Day) up within the next few weeks.

Whether or not the revamped SCYP (pronounced “skip”) blog succeeds or fails, I’ll probably share my thoughts on the process over here. After all, I want people interested to know what will/won’t work – especially if they’re interested in trying to create something similar. I mean, wouldn’t that be cool and super-empowering if every state had a collective youth services blog?

***BIG Update: I attended my first Board Meeting as the SCYP Chair in December 2015, and spoke with the Head of the IT for the NLA. I asked about getting our blog onto the official NLA site and it turns out that I couldn’t just do a simple “redirect” to the WordPress blog that I put so much time and effort into – I needed to build it from scratch using this other platform.

Fortunately, I figured out that I could copy/past pretty much all of the content into new areas, so although it doesn’t look as slick as the WordPress one, I think that it looks good for now. Check it out HERE.

8 thoughts on “My New Project

  1. Looking great!!

    Our WI Library Association has a sort of collective blog – Youth Services Shout-Out We have anywhere between 4 and 6 “administrators” on a rotating basis who write or curate content. There have been 8-10 total plus guest posts over the past 4 years. It makes it easy to have different viewpoints and focuses and allows the YSS board a place to share info with. It has been great for our unit and gets the word out beyond WI too! It has been a fun way to recruit people to be administrators who want to help but don’t have alot of time. Being responsible for a month or two of content is very do-able.

    • Brooke had shared the YSS blog with me many months ago when I wrote to her asking what she thought. I really like it, and didn’t realize that it was curated by so many people! I do hope that almost every post is a guest post – especially so I don’t sound like I’m pushing nothing but Hafuboti stuff, ya know? Thanks for pointing out YSS – I should have mentioned it in my post! :)

      • Before some of my Admin months, I specifically invite people to share stuff or write a short paragraph. It seems helps to get a personal invite to get people sharing. Kind of fights people’s self- perception of “What do i have to share?”. We have managed to keep the blog rolling with 2-4 posts weekly since we started this “multiple administrators” set-up and blog use has really grown. And it got us lots closer to a many voices point!

      • That’s wonderful! Thank you so much for the tip. I hope to mention the blog at our conference (in October) if it’s still slowly puttering along. It’ll make a great conversation starter, and then I can invite people in person. Hmmm…

  2. I think this is a great idea! How is it going to work tho? Are other librarians able to add their ideas to this blog? Would we send them to you so you could approve them before posted? I would love to be able to go to one spot where other librarians are sharing their ideas and programs throughout the year. Thanks for getting this started. Kim

    • Hi, Kim! Thank you so much for commenting!

      The hope is that other librarians will send me content – from full-fledged blog posts, to just a paragraph or picture(s). Even as simple as sending a file that’s a template for a flyer – I could take that, and turn it into a short post.

      I also thought this might be a great way to “try out” blogging before making the leap into running your own blog. Whether it simply is as an occasional writer or an admin, it’d be a less-of-a-commitment way of giving it a go.

      I wouldn’t really “approve” them, just make them public. Maybe give them a bit more depth if it’s something as simple/wonderful as a template. I do hope to have other “administrators” that could help me with this task. That way it doesn’t become too much of a burden.

      Does that all make sense? Of course, as this goes and hopefully grows, the blog might morph into something else – I’m totally cool with that as long as it’s librarians helping other librarians (with the focus on Nebraska librarians, but it’s still an open place for sharing). :)

  3. One of the biggest problems, I think, with this type of page is that you are in an elected position. What I’ve seen happen too often, is that one elected person starts a great project/page, but when their term is up it doesn’t continue to be a priority with the next person, and so is not kept up. So keep in mind that you will want to come up with a plan for the project to continue. Good luck!!

    • Excellent point! I’ve actually requested that the section add a non-elected “editor” position to the table so that I could remain both involved with the section, and continue this project. I have yet to hear back.

Comments are closed.